Freedom in the Abstract: An Investigation of the Men's Movement in New Zealand and the United States
Thesis DisciplineAmerican Studies
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameMaster of Arts
This thesis explains how the men's movements in New Zealand and the United States highlight the interaction between social structures and the individual in determining how masculinity is defined. Hegemonic structures, most notably patriarchy, provide a background of stable definitions of social reality for men. The men's movement in both countries has been slow to overtly challenge these social structures. Rather they have contested definitions of masculinity in the foreground of institutional structures which has resulted in a widespread lack of radical change to existing social structures and a perpetuation of unequal power relationships between men and women. Men's oppression is identified as an institutional arrangement that limits men's lives and perpetuates hegemonic structures that oppress others, most notably women.